Mechanics at the Mesoscale: Testing, Modeling, and Re-Engineering Living Soft Matter
Speaker: Dr. Chelsey Simmons - University of Florida
Date: Feb 9, 2018; Time: 2:30 pm Location: BPB, room 131
Abstract: Research in the Simmons Lab works to understand the feedback loop between cell-level processes and tissue-level mechanics. We have developed our own characterization equipment to effectively compare excised tissues, synthetic hydrogels, and engineered constructs. With our custom tools and models, we are studying a novel animal, the African Spiny Mouse, that is capable of regenerating skin, cardiac muscle, and skeletal muscle without fibrosis, and we are attempting to recreate these regenerative processes in vitro. To study pancreatic cancer, we are using cells from patients to engineer tumors-in-a-dish that have the same mechanical properties of the original tumors for translational and clinical applications.
Biographical Sketch: Chelsey S. Simmons, Ph.D., joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Florida in Fall 2013, following a visiting research position at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich. Her research lab investigates the relationship among cell biology and tissue mechanics, and their projects are funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, and American Heart Association. She has received numerous fellowships and awards, including BMES-CMBE’s Rising Star Award (2017) and ASME’s New Faces Award (2015). In addition to her engineering research and coursework, Simmons received a Ph.D. Minor in Education and is the PI of a $600k Research Experiences for Teachers Site. She teaches undergraduate Mechanics of Materials and graduate BioMEMS courses and received Teacher of the Year in 2017. Simmons received her B.S. cum laude from Harvard University and her M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University.